Sonnen-Jones set for TUF 17 Coaches, fight April 2013

October 16, 2012

The LA Times reported that Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones will be opposing coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 17 set to air on FX this spring.  The two coaches will face one another on April 27th.

This likely means that Chael Sonnen, coming off of a KO loss to Anderson Silva at middleweight, skips the line of challengers at Light Heavyweight to get a shot at Jon Jones’ title.  Jones had made vague references to a possible showdown with the reigning King of Smack via twitter.  Sonnen goaded Jones after he refused a possible bout at UFC 151.

Payout Perspective:

How appropriate that this announcement comes out the day after TUF’s worst ratings ever were made public.  The booking is good television but bad for UFC morale and does not reflect a long range plan.  The UFC is banking on Jones-Sonnen to boost its TUF ratings and then a fight in the spring could draw a PPV buy rate close to 1 Million.  The booking is a tacit admission that the TUF series, at least in America, is below expectations with ratings.  The move reflects the need to inject something into the TUF franchise.  TUF has done this before with putting Brock Lesnar on as a coach and Kimbo Slice as a contestant as two examples.  While the Lesnar placement did not help, Slice (plus Rashad and Rampage) aided season 10 ratings.

We will see how this plays out for the TUF series and the future of the Light Heavyweight division.

5 Responses to “Sonnen-Jones set for TUF 17 Coaches, fight April 2013”

  1. Brain Smasher on October 16th, 2012 9:54 PM

    How is this some admission by the UFC? This is the first time the UFC has the option to have coaches at this level which they used to have in abundance. Unknown Feather weights Faber/Crus isnt Liddell/Couture. Neither is Carwin/Nelson or Bisping/Miller. The last season that had coaches like this was Rampage/Evans. It was the highest rated season but it did have Kimbo. But the hype for that coach fight was huge. Up to the point the coaches were almost always huge names. But it is so hard for the UFC to get 2 big names in a division that appeal to the US. Now they once again have it and use it. If they had passed option like this up recently then yeah it might be some type of admission. I see it as timing.

    I also dont think Chael “skipped a line of challengers”. There were no challengers! Machida just lost to Jones recently, Hendo has 1 controversial fight since coming back to the UFC. Gustaffson already has a fight booked with Rua for their title shot which is much more of a joke than anything. Rua is a bum and Gustaffson is being rushed and hasnt beat anyone yet. The UFC didnt have any challengers for Jones. They just had the perception of contenders due to lack of options. Chael give them an option. Now im not saying he deserves a title shot. But he is no less deserving that the other guys. None of them deserve a shot. Atleast he is a fresh option and the fight people care about as it will sell better than the other options.

    I didnt see anyone bitching when Hendo come to the UFC from Pride and got a title shot with rampage! I didnt see anyone bitching when Hendo lost that fight with rampage and went right into a title fight with Silva!

    I find it hippocritical for people to demand a Silva vs Jones fight as if being the 185 champ makes you on par with the 205 champ. But the #1 contender at 185 isnt doesnt make you on par with the #1 contender at 205. Chael is currently #2 185 fighter. Why does everyone elses ranking move up with them but not Chael? BJ Penn moved up to fight for the 170 title vs Matt Hughes.

    This fight will be a fun fight. It will be a fun season of TUF. It will give the 205 division much needed time to establish someone as a real deserving contender to Jones. Machida, Hendo, Gustafson,Glover, Evans, Rua all need more wins for anyone to give a shit about them fighting Jones. As it was we were going to get a meaningless rematch forced down out throats. Be it Machida, Evans, Rua, etc. Now after his Chael figt, if he wins, we might actually care who he is fighting next.

  2. michael on October 17th, 2012 12:13 AM

    Who wants to bet on which 1 will get injured begore the fight?

  3. Sampson Simpson on October 17th, 2012 5:32 AM

    The biggest announcement is that TUF will move to Tuesday.

    I guess UFC is pulling out all the stops for this one in an effort to turn around the rubber ducky.

    A for effort.

    F for product.

  4. Diego on October 17th, 2012 5:56 PM

    “Rua is a bum.”

    More brilliant insight BS.

    “I didnt see anyone bitching when Hendo come to the UFC from Pride and got a title shot with rampage! I didnt see anyone bitching when Hendo lost that fight with rampage and went right into a title fight with Silva!”

    Even more brilliant insight from BS. Are you seriously comparing Chael to Dan? Dan got those title fights because he just happened to be the Pride champion at 205 and 185. And yes, I know it was actually 183 since I know you’re going to be pedantic.

    “I also dont think Chael “skipped a line of challengers”. There were no challengers!…Now im not saying he deserves a title shot. But he is no less deserving that the other guys. None of them deserve a shot.”

    And much more brilliant insight from BS. Dan Henderson was and is the deserving challenger and could have been ready to fight again in 2012. Machida and Rua would have been willing to fight Jones given adequate time to prepare and both of them are top 205rs. And by the way, I don’t think Sonnen could beat any of those three at LHW.

  5. Brain Smasher on October 18th, 2012 3:00 PM

    I will bet you money right now Chael would steam roll Rua. The guy is a turd and has onyl had 1 good fight in his UFC Career. I do agree Machida would beat him more than likely. The guy was a punching bag vs Dan. He struggled with Coleman and Vera, Gassed vs Jones and Forrest. The UFC got him a couple wins against a Forrest who doesnt have the heart to fight anymore and Vera who cant beat anyone. Rua is a joke and he wont fight anyone. He turned down a title shot and a fight with Glover. You guys will hero worship anyone regardless how over hyped.

    I do think Dan, if you count his fights outside the UFC, deserves a title shot. But when you factor in the time the UFC spend promoting his fight with Jones and it not happening and the backlash Dan got for not telling anyone about his injury. It isnt a good idea to hype that same fight for another 3-6 months and expect it to sell. Also who would coach TUF? Dan and Jones are both to laid back and quit. Them both being coaches on the same show would be a disaster.

    This was the best move the UFC could make. Dan had his shot and blew it. IF he is as deserving as people think then beating someone in the UFC worth a damn isnt to much to ask. Truth is he will never beat Machida. Thats why people are bitching about him not getting a shot. He beat suspect overrated guys in SF after he had mixed results in the UFC. He comes back and get the weakest fighter with a name and is now supposed to be some uncrowned champ.

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